Basic Steps to Stairway Construction Basic Steps to Stairway Construction

Stairway construction is one of those things that many do it youselfers struggle with. If you are remodeling a two story home, planning an elevated deck, or just want to build a set of front steps, you will be presented with the need for stairway construction. The good news is that once you have done a stairway, you can use the same basic steps to build any stairway that you will need. Here are a few basic steps to stairway construction that you can use if you are struggling with this type of project.

Know Basic Math

While you will not have to know advanced calculus, there is some basic math that you will need to do when building a set of stairs. In order to accurately build a strong set of stairs you will need to know some basic math in order to get the right measurements for the rise and run of the steps themselves. 

Know the Building Codes

Before you can build any type of staircase you will need to check with the national, and local building codes that pertain to the building of the staircase. Ultimately, your plans will have to be centered around these building codes. When finding out these codes you will need to have the measurements as well as the type of stairway that you want to put in place. 

Take Measurements for Stairway Construction

There are two measurements that you will really need to pay attention to. They are the rise of the stairs and the total run of the staircase. These two measurements are going to determine the ultimate height of the risers and steps themselves. This is where the basic math will come into play.

Basic Calculations

Knowing what the different building codes are going to be is what will determine the different calculations. However, for this example we will use the code that specifies a 10 inch stair tread and a 7 3/4 inch rise. If the total rise of your stairway is going to be 118" from finished floor to top of the landing, you will divide this number by 7.5. When you do this you have an answer of 15.73. Round that number to 16 and that is the number of steps that you will have in your staircase construction. Now you divide 118" and 16 steps to come up with a total rise between each step of 7 3/8 inches. 

Basic Materials

Once you have the calculations down you will then need to concentrate on the actual materials. Typically the side stringers are going to be made out of 2x8 or 2x10 lumber. This will depend on the amount of space you have and the overall length of the staircase. The steps themselves are 1x10 lumber with the risers being 1x8 that are cut to fit. 

Cutting Stringer for Treads and Risers

Once the measurements are taken you will then need to mark them out on your stringers. Use a carpenter's square and make sure of all of the calculations with each one. Mark off the rise and run of your stringers by setting the carpenter's square measurements. This will make quick work of this. Once the measurements are marked, you can cut out the rise and run on the stringers.

 

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